About CWRU

Image of Adelbert Hall.

A Proud History

Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine has trained medical students, served the community and been at the forefront of discovery in Cleveland for more than 165 years.

Founded in 1843

Located in downtown Cleveland, the Medical Department of Western Reserve College (also known as Cleveland Medical College) was founded in 1843. By 1865, the medical school's graduates included Nancy Talbot Clarke, the second woman to graduate from an American medical school, six of the first seven female physicians in the United States and the third African American to graduate from medical school.

The Western Reserve College Medical Department's reputation as a leader in medical education continued to grow. In a 1911 survey of 155 North American medical schools commissioned by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Abraham Flexner reported that the Western Reserve University medical school was second only to Johns Hopkins University.

Revolutionized Education

Forty years later, the Western Reserve University School of Medicine revolutionized medical education with a new curriculum that integrated the basic and clinical sciences and conformed to students' needs. Created by faculty members Dr. Joseph Wearn, Dr. T. Hale Ham and Dr. John L. Caughey Jr., the curriculum of 1952 became the most progressive medical curriculum in the country at the time.

Central themes included the following ideas: teaching should be based on problem solving; students should accept responsibility for their own education; basic principles of medicine should be emphasized; curriculum should be designed as a continuum by faculty subject committees not by departments; teaching should be interdisciplinary; and basic sciences should be integrated with clinical sciences. The tenets of the 1952 curriculum remain basic principles of today's Western Reserve curriculum.

Best Possible Care

At Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine, we will strive to teach our students how to give the best possible care to their patients. This involves providing them with as many experience-based learning opportunities as possible.

As one of the top 25 medical schools in the nation, our Physician Assistant students will have the chance to practice in both the clinical environment of our top-notch affiliated hospitals and in the School's Mt. Sinai Skills and Simulation Center.  In addition to private practices and community clinics, PA students will complete clinical rotations at the following affiliates: University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, The MetroHealth System and the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center as well as the numerous ambulatory and community-based health centers of these affiliates.